The days of Jelena are long gone — for Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, that is. For the rest of the world, one quick search can make it seem like the two young superstars are still attached at the hip.
"It's difficult for people to separate us," Gomez mused to the U.K.'s Sunday Times. "The internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it."
The 23-year-old pop princess isn't one bit surprised by the fact that people have a hard time letting go of this now-defunct love story, however. In fact, she seems relatively at peace with this state of affairs. "I didn't think I was doing anything bad by falling in love," she explained rather matter-of-factly of her tumultuous relationship with the Biebs, which began sometime in 2010. "There's such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it's good press."
She also didn't think their youth helped things much. "Throw in the fact that you are a teenager — it makes it more difficult," she said. (It's hard to argue with her there.)
But just because she and Bieber had a rocky go hardly means Gomez has given up on love. In some ways, Gomez has always been a romantic at heart. Back before she started running around the world with Bieber, she dated Nick Jonas and wore a purity ring, which symbolized her decision not to have sex until she was married. (For the record, Jonas wore one too.)
Apparently, her father helped get it for her. "I said, 'Dad, I want a promise ring,'" she recalled. "He went to the church and got it blessed. He actually used me as an example for other kids. I'm going to keep my promise to myself, to my family, and to God."
Not surprisingly, some people had a field day with that.
"Sometimes you have to lie to yourself to get through the criticism, and then you're in your closet crying," Gomez revealed. "It's been like that for me a couple of times, but I only want to learn from those things."
One thing Gomez learned as she got a bit older was that maybe a purity ring wasn't for right for her after all, and it came off when she started dating Bieber. "I'm not embarrassed to say that," the "Good for You" singer explained of her decision to wear the famous piece of jewelry. "I'm also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off. I got it was I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn't for everyone."
While her romantic relationships have faltered, one relationship has withstood the test of time: her friendship with Taylor Swift.
"I can count on one hand the people I could call and who would be there for me. Taylor is one of the greatest people," Gomez mused. "When I split with my first boyfriend [the aforementioned Jonas] and I was really sad about it, she flew into town with homemade cookies and a bunch of junk food."
Though Gomez insisted that, in terms of romance, she doesn't "really want anything right now," she quickly added, "The next relationship will be something dear to me. There is no way I will ever hide my life."